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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

ix                             "CORNES DE LICORNE                             22/
How   primeval   man,   with   his   inferior   weapons,   slew   the
Mammoth is not easy to understand; but  that  they were con-
temporaneous is clearly shown by associated remains, and by the
aotorious sketch of the Mammoth on a piece of its own ivory, in
svhich curved tusks and a forehead like that of an Indian Elephant
ire plainly to be seen.     Although it was only so recently as the
rear 1799 that an example of this great  creature was  actually
studied on the spot, and removed to St. Petersburg, the existence
>f Mammoths and of ivory is  a  matter  of much  more  ancient
knowledge.     M. Trouessart relates* that fossil ivory was known
.o the Greeks.     Theophrastus spoke of ivory imbedded in   the
oil, and the tusks were recovered by the Chinese.    It is a curious
'act that the  Chinese described and figured the Mammoth as a
ind of gigantic Hat.   The likeness between the elephantine molar
nd that of Kodents has been commented upon ; but the existence
f its tusks below the level of the ground led the Chinese Natural
listorians to consider that the ways of life of the Mammoth were
hose of the Mole.    As to the carcases themselves, the Chinese
lid  that   the   flesh  was   cold,   but  very healthy to   eat.     This
spression can  hardly be explained, except  upon the view that
•esh carcases were known to that people long before they were
nown to us of the Western world.     The value of the Mammoth
rory was known to antiquity;   the  famous Haroun-al-Baschid
ive to King  Charlemagne not only a pair of living Elephants,
it a ** horn of Licorne/* which seems undoubtedly to have been
name for the tusks of the Mammoth.     For in an account of the
,cred treasures of Saint Denis, published in the year 1646, the
ithor states this to be the fact.
The causes of the disappearance of the Mammoth are not easy
understand. Some held that it was a naked animal like the
•isting Elephants, and that the lowering of the temperature in
beria proved fatal; it is, of course, now certain that it was
}thed with dense woolly hair. Along with the bogged corpses
the great pachyderm, numerous trunks of pine-trees have been
md, together with associated remains of other animals now
tinct in that neighbourhood. Thus it is plain that Siberia was
ce covered by mighty forests, through which the Mammoth
raied. The decay of these forests, upon whose branches the
ephant fed, as is attested by the remains of pine leaves found
tfoc, JWrt. cPAcctvmat. sir. 1898, p. 41.